The Los Angeles Firefighter Nov / Dec 2012

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Bi-Monthly publication of United Firefighters of Los Angels City, IAFF, Local 112



Official Publication of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City — Local 112, IAFF, AFL-CIO-CLC
VOL. 50, No. 6 November / December 2012

In our last issue of The Los Angeles Firefighter we had several articles urging you to vote No On Proposition 32. By the time this paper arrives at your door you will be eligible to send in your absentee ballot and Vote No on 32. It does not matter what party affiliation you are. All firefighters can agree that Prop 32 is bad for workers. Voting No on 32 is quite possibly one of the most important votes of your career. If this Proposition passes it will be devastating to firefighters and workers across the state. Across the Country legislators are watching the California election to see if the workers voice will be silenced. Collective bargaining was attacked in Wisconsin and Ohio and now workers are once again under attack in California. We urge you to spread to word to friends and family to vote No on Proposition 32. Prop 32 is not what it seems. It was intentionally written to create special exemptions for billionaire businessmen, giving them even more political power to write their own set of rules. Prop 32 exempts secretive Super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen to support their favored candidates and defeat their enemies. Corporations already outspend labor 15 to 1 on political expenditures; public safety and law enforcement officials cannot afford to lose their voice in local com-

No On 32 - Now is the Time

On Sunday, September 30th we said goodbye to Crew 3 Cadet Ryan Kirby. An outpouring of support was provided to Ryan’s family by the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and the Mountains Recreation Conservancy Authority. In attendance were in excess of 130 Fire Service personnel from these 4 different agencies, all showing their support for Ryan. The Kirbys were blown away in the support for their son and are extremely grateful for the assistance we have provided. By Greg Holly, Apparatus Operator

munities and state government. Prop 32 will effectively silence the collective voice of police, firefighters, and all the organizations that advocate on behalf of our public safety professionals -- those who stand on the front lines to fight for our public safety system every day. If corporate special interests were allowed free rein over the state of California to do as they please, we’d see the public safety issues we care about the most pushed to the side. Issues like: • Fighting to keep firefighters and police on the job • Reducing the risks of dangerous work with worker safety laws • Providing the best possible safety equipment • Halting the increase in emergency response times • Protecting our benefits to ensure our families are taken care of Prop 32 is a one-two punch -- the special interests funding Prop 32 are targeting the voices of public safety professionals today, and next they’ll target the issues we care about most. Well respected organizations like the California Professional Firefighters, Los Angeles Police Protective League, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Safety Employee Benefit Association and dozens of other public safety associations have joined together to oppose Prop 32. It’s bad for public safety and bad for California. For more information go to:

November / December 2012

The Los Angeles Firefighter


PERODICAL Postage Paid at Los Angeles, CA

LAFD Mourns the Passing of LAFD Crew #3 Cadet Ryan S. Kirby

LAFD Crew #3 Ryan Scott Kirby

LAFD Crew 3 is a Volunteer Type II Handcrew managed by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Crew 3 is currently organized as a Wildland Cadet Post. Crew 3 Members receive wildland classes and hands-on training as well as career guidance to help with successful careers in the Fire Service. Crew 3 is managed and run by LAFD Members with extensive wild land training and handcrew experience.

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Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

By Adam Knabe
It has been a few newspaper issues since I published an article, but with my term as your Secretary coming to an end I want to say a few things. First and foremost, I want to say thank you to all the members that had enough faith in me to elect me this last term. I hope I have not let you down, yet served you by meeting your expectations. These have been a rough two years for all of us. We have suffered through “brownouts”, loss of overtime, position eliminations, company closures, lack of leadership in certain areas, fighting between offices, and in-fighting amongst ranks. No doubt about it, the last few years have left many scars. The one thing that has prevailed are the boots on the ground, going out each day as that alarm rings and getting the job done although, even that has taken a hit. When have you heard of so many members leaving this job, and so happy to be going? Members that have put their blood, sweat and tears into this job, sacrificed so much, and yet don’t even want to look back. It is truly sad!! This is not what I remember seeing as a kid growing up around the fire house. What has caused this? Well, I know we all have our own opinions as to whom or what is to blame, but my hope is that these members stay and help restore this great Department! A well respected and admired engineer just transferred into my station and asked me a simple question. He knows I am studying for Captain and he asked me, “Adam, why are you studying for Captain. Why would you want that position?” I thought about it long and hard. I thought about my “oral interview” answer, and then I just spoke what I believe in my heart. Seeing this Department going through all these catastrophic changes and heading in who knows what direction, I realize that from my current seat I am not in a position to change anything. Yes, I go out on my truck

company, or rescue, daily and try to have the best impact on civilian lives as I can, but as far as the “fellas” go, I don’t have much of an impact. As an Officer, I hope to provide just that. I might not have control over the Department and its actions, but within my four walls, I can make up for what the Department is lacking. I can provide direction, leadership and compassion for the members serving under me. I can do my best to improve their morale on a daily basis. There is something to be said for the old adage of a Captain’s responsibility. His job is to make sure his crew is fed, paid, and goes home safe. Sitting from my seat as your Secretary and representing some of you in the discipline process, I see how important many of our positions are on the Fire Department. Many people think they can’t make an impact, or just because the Department is making things a certain way, that everything is out of their hands. Wrong! Each and every one of us can bring something to the table to build morale and/or better our “team” by filling in the void spaces where our Department is lacking. These past two years many of you have shown me we still have a “family” on this job. I have seen our members pull together to help a brother struggling with a sick child. I have seen a station take money out of their own pockets and rebuild a car for a guy who was traveling to and from a hospital to take a child for life saving treatment. I have seen members take countless hours and money out of their pockets to send a WWII Veteran (non-LAFD member) on a plane ride aboard an old B-17 and escort him there on an old fire truck, just to say thank you to a Veteran who has helped give us our freedom. I have seen Captains go above and beyond to help members through a discipline process that so badly needs to be corrected; a process that is so out of control, it is taking our finest members and making them disgruntled. My hope is that our newest PSD Commander will do as good of a job as I think he will, and bring the changes needed to restore faith in the system. The list of great gestures goes on and on, and it is nice to be able to say there are still “old school” guys out there. Many people have called me or run into me and ask why I am not running for re-election. Well, first off that is a very humbling compliment and I thank you again for your support, but there are many reasons I am not running, and I will gladly chat with anyone who is wondering why. This is a position that takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort to do a good job at it. Time that takes away from other areas such as: family. Although I have had an incredibly supportive wife (and children) these past years, it is time I refocus my priorities. My “slate” ran on several visions for what we wanted to accomplish, some of which we were successful at, but many we were not. Why? I can only speculate. Was it because the “Republicans and Democrats” were trying to get things accomplished at the same Board table? Or was it lack of relationships between offices? I don’t know that we will ever know the exact reasons. Regardless, I hope that I was able to better the situation of any member I had personal interaction with. I want nothing but the best for this membership and UFLAC as an organization. I hope that the 2013-2014 UFLAC Board will remain focused on the tasks at hand and keep in mind their missions true propose, “To serve the Members”. I hope they work on relationships between our office and the Administration, COA and Cityhall. Without these relationships, it is like navigating a submarine blindfolded, without a crew, and thinking I can do it all myself. This concept of relationships extends well beyond the four walls of UFLAC. This

Thank You for the Last Two Years

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN is a concept or strategy that could of boots on the ground serving assist each one of us on a daily with morals, values and respect basis in the fire house. Whether and I hope it continues to be conit is a working relationship with tagious. the members of your station, beI could not write this final artween the crews, neighboring sta- ticle without mentioning two tions, or battalions, relationships individuals that truly keep the are key to success. Each citizen operations at the UFLAC office you encounter when you go out going. These ladies are in that those doors or answer each phone office on a daily basis, from open call is a possible vote for your fu- to close. Whenever I was down ture well being. Treat each per- there I know they would be there son you meet as if they were your elbows deep in work. If you have family member. Assist that old ever called or gone into the office lady (can I say “old” or is that of- I know you have benefited from fending her protected class? sorry their hard work. Those ladies are just kidding) off the ground as if Maria Riggs and Gail Winkles. she was your Grandmother. Next time you see or talk to them, Our job is pretty easy when a “thank you” is definitely waryou think about it. Go out and ranted. They were instrumental do the right thing! It works every to my operation there on a daily time. I had a discussion with one basis. of our members recently when he So in closing, this experience came into our office. It was so as your Secretary has taught me encouraging to hear that I want to a lot, I hope you got out of my give him the credit. FFPM Ste- service half of what I learned ven Smith (FS94), son of our own serving you. A special thank you Chief Pilot Glenn Smith, talked to the members on the Board that to me about his experiences and taught me and assisted me these mentality as a firefighter/para- last two years, whether it was medic. He talked about the op- getting me up to speed through a portunity he has (yes the term is steep learning curve or listening opportunity) to positively affect to me vent about the politics I ensomeone’s life on a daily basis countered, I couldn’t have done it each time he goes out those doors. without you. You know who you It was refreshing to hear a young are. member of the Department, at an To the members of UFLAC, incredibly busy assignment, still keep doing a great job. Keep have the compassion to help oth- your people safe, keep their moers no matter what time of day or rale high and don’t forget no matwhat number call he is on, and ter what comes down the pipe, to serve with respect. This was it’s because of the fellas in the so encouraging because I know fire house that this is still the best he is not the only one with these darn job in the world! values. This Department is full

LAFD Supply & Maintenance Division with the assistance of Rosie Tavera, Sr Clerk Typist went above and beyond during the LAFD / Local 112 - Think Pink Campaign. Not only did they have great participation at S&M but they also raised a great deal of fundraising money. A cake was made for the funddraising and awareness event. They also made up special flyers at the shops to encourage others to participate and make donations. The response of all the LAFD work locations was inspiring. Thank you to all those who participated and made this campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness month a success.

LAFD S&M Goes Above & Beyond for Breast Cancer Awareness

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

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Inasmuch as I am not running for re-election for president of our union, this article will be the last of many that I have written for this page of the Los Angeles Firefighter. The one thing I want to convey right here and now, is that it has been my great pleasure and honor to have served LAFD firefighters in this capacity for eight rewarding years. I will also say that the job and its responsibilities have not been easy...but I never expected that they would be. The last four years were especially tough. As we all know, the worldwide economic crisis which began in 2008 hit the City of Los Angeles and LAFD firefighters very hard. We UFLAC leaders took it very personally, and we’ve done everything in our power to soften the blows. We fought hard to negotiate the best contracts with the least painful concessions that could possibly be wrangled from a cynical boss who seemed at times to enjoy taking advantage of a bad situation. We worked hand-inhand with the Police Protective League to ensure that the inevitable “pension reform” for L.A.’s cops and firefighters would leave current and future members with the retirement security that they so richly deserve. And back when the Mayor and his Fire Chief first cut staffing and closed companies, we went public with our concerns for your safety and that of the people you serve. It was especially gratifying during that difficult time to see how many Local 112 members “got it”, understanding that the only sensible course was to stick together, to put personal agendas aside, and to support our common cause. Thank you for that. It’s been bittersweet to have been proven right about the negative affects that company closures had and are still having on response times and public safety. Local 112 said it would happen, the Mayor and his Fire Chiefs insisted that it wouldn’t...and then

of course it did. And when their lies were exposed, they were exposed in a big way...seemingly in every newspaper, on every TV channel and all across the radio airwaves. If you ask me, the guys in the dark suits came away from that episode looking foolish, uncaring about people’s safety, and downright dishonest. They should have listened to us in the first place. Looking forward, I am encouraged by the small progress we’ve made toward what I hope will one day be the full restoration of LAFD staffing. It has been UFLAC alone pressing the case for adequate staffing these past four years. And it was us who earlier this year convinced the City Council to amend the Mayor’s most recent budget in two significant ways: First, we got them to instruct the Department to develop a plan to restore resources and positions gradually, over the next five years. Second, we convinced them to commit that all new money derived from ambulance transport and/or medical treatment will go back to the LAFD for these restorations. And we expect that dollar amount to be significant in the coming years thanks to new state and federal legislation that your union fought for. I know that I will be retired from the LAFD long before our full restoration is complete, but I am confident that it will happen if union members want it bad enough. I’ve always believed that ultimately union members get the Union that they deserve... meaning that union leaders will be about as appropriately focused and effective as are those who elect them and stand behind them. If UFLAC’s membership wants LAFD staffing fully restored, and if they are willing to back up their leaders and work toward that goal in real unity, then they will succeed – just as we did in the last decade on the return of Inside Firefighters and the protection of 2-paramedic staffing on ambulances.

Honored To Serve
In the meantime and always, I urge all of you to make good choices when it comes to your union. Pick good leaders...firefighters whose only motivation is the sense of reward they feel when they stick up for rank-andfile union members. Choose people who are willing to take on the boss whenever he or she takes on firefighters, and will do so without blinking. And after you pick these leaders, stand behind them and support what they do for you. Be politically active, participate in Local 112’s open endorsement process, and always support your Union’s candidates and causes. Remember that every big decision about your profession that effects your health, your safety, or your family’s wellbeing is made by an elected official. If you sit on the sidelines and let the enemies of working people pick them, you will be sorry. Of course in an organization our size we are always going to have a few selfish individuals. It’s up to the rest of us to put a stop to their antics. I hope that in the future UFLAC members won’t tolerate any more backstabbing or featherbedding by management-lovers within our ranks. You know who they are: They are the guys who take care of themselves first and who love to demonstrate their loyalty to the boss at everyone else’s expense. Most of them eventually worm themselves into positions of authority, believing that it shields them from criticism or questioning. I urge you to criticize them, question them, and shame them into good behavior and solidarity. If we aren’t willing to do that, we allow them to continue harming the hard working men and women of the LAFD who battle in the trenches. Always remember that top LAFD brass works for us, not the other way around. That is so because our labor – the work of rank-and-file firefighters and paramedics – is the only thing that accomplishes the mission of the fire department. The risks

By Pat McOsker

Photo By Rick McClure that we are willing to take for house, be a strong voice for solithe the people of Los Angeles – darity and for brotherhood and in the streets and in their homes sisterhood. Be someone who al– is the only reason that there is ways sticks up for another union an LAFD, and the only reason member, no matter what, and no that your bosses have jobs. The matter who is messing with him brass is cashing in on your blood, or her. Be a team player who is sweat and tears, and we should always proud of what you see in never hesitate to remind them of the firehouse mirror each mornit. Perhaps it will cause a few of ing before you head home to famthem to focus more on supporting ily. the troops. And please work as safely as I suppose this last article of you can in the world’s most danmine is more than anything, a gerous profession and the counplea to all of you to continue in try’s most challenging city. The the years ahead to build the stron- hardest moments of my presigest possible Local 112. I know dency were those spent dealing from intimate experience that our with the losses of so many beUnion is the only reason that we loved brothers and sisters. Sadly, enjoy so many of the things that we buried more than two dozen we do now. Without the decades- active LAFD firefighters during long fight of Local 112, the CPF those eight years. I hope that we and the IAFF on behalf of LAFD never have to say goodbye to anfirefighters, our pay would be other hero before he or she has a fraction of what it is now, our enjoyed a long and happy retirebenefits would be paper-thin, job ment, but I know that it will happrotections for firefighters would pen. Please cut down on the odds be non-existent, our safety would that it might be you or someone be jeopardized by inadequate you work with, by insisting that staffing and other shortcomings, everyone on your crew follow and a secure retirement would be every safety procedure. Never just a pipe dream. stop looking out for one another... So get involved in your union always have each other’s back... whenever and wherever you can. never leave anyone behind...that Don’t take for granted that some- is the union way. one else will do it if you don’t. Consider being the UFLAC steward for your station. In the fire-

Never stop looking out for one another...always have each other’s back...never leave anyone behind...that is the union way.

Photo By Rick McClure, EPN

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Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

By Frank Lima
Overhauls Cancer-Safety I have been working closely with our LAFD’s Risk Management section for months to see how the Union and Management collectively can improve Firefighter safety now and in the future. We have made great strides by having our LAFD Safety Officer contribute to our union newspaper in the recent past. This is in an effort to create a healthier work environment and secure better odds against cancer causing carcinogens. We are specifically working on reducing our Firefighters’ unnecessary exposure to carcinogens in the ‘non-emergency’ post structure fire activity we call ‘overhaul’. For years, our members have worked tirelessly during the emergency phase wearing SCBA and full personal protective equipment. Afterward, during the overhaul phase, our Firefighters remove the SCBA’s and enter the structure to ‘clean it up’. It is the dangerous exposure to cancer causing elements in this phase, when our Firefighters are most vulnerable, that puts our members at most risk for line of duty exposure deaths. Because this is how our Department has done overhauls for decades without SCBA’s, it will be a culture change to find and implement a better, safer way to complete that portion of our duties. Another positive change will be to keep our turnout/bunker gear out of our bedroom areas, the kitchen, and recreation/ training rooms. These areas are where we eat, sleep, and train. They should be safe areas in our firehouse. Why do we continue to unnecessarily bring carcinogens embedded in our protective clothing into our safe areas in the firehouse? Our careers already have us exposed to enough toxins and deadly hazards. We hope the support of this upcoming change will lead to self-monitoring and prompting of co-workers, because it is our collective health at stake.

Pension attacks The recent passage of AB 340 in Sacramento is the most sweeping pension reform Bill in California state history. This signals that the attacks on firefighters/police officers and public safety workers as a whole are still alive and well. AB 340 does not affect us in here in Los Angeles City, because we are a Charter City with our own pension system (L.A. Fire and Police Pension-LAFPP) and we have been carved out. Don’t think for a minute though that they will want to do that to us here in Los Angeles at the ‘local’ level in the future. We (the UFLAC leadership) will be prepared to fight for what we have (DROP program), want to keep, and to fight for things that currently are in question right now (medical subsidy). Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan (who is a proponent for Yes on PROP 32) is currently starting a signaturegathering campaign to slash our pension and benefits here in the City of Los Angeles. That is why it is imperative your UFLAC leadership continues to fight to preserve our sacred pension benefits that we have dutifully earned, and position our labor organization towards the future. Pink Shirts-Breast Cancer I spoke at the City Hall pressconference kicking off the breast cancer awareness (LAFD Goes Pink) and announcing the partnership between your Union and LAFD management. Many thanks go out to our members for their participation, LAFD management for amending the uniform standards for several days to create awareness while fostering camaraderie, and our unbelievably generous donors who helped with the seed money to purchase the LAFD Pink Breast Cancer t-shirts. All net proceeds will directly benefit the American Cancer Society. Also, I would like personally express my gratitude to the committee

CPF Mobile Application Get the most from your CPF membership. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones. The California Professional Firefighters app offers CPF members and their affiliated local unions an important link to the California fire service and a valuable resource on everything that affects a firefighter’s life on the job. • Keep track of the latest news about legislation and issues around the state impacting the lives and livelihoods of front line first responders; • Special “members only” login giving members exclusive access to CPF’s Campaign 2012 page, with information on the fight against Prop. 32. • Follow incident updates fromaround the state and na-

tion; • Get information on line-of-duty deaths and the California Firefighters Memorial; • Carry your own digital pocket guide to the Firefighters Bill of Rights; • Get information on all the services CPF provides to its members. The CPF Mobile App for iPhone and iPad is available at the iTunes App Store and for Android smartphones at Google Play. Register for Member Only Features As a CPF member, you have access to special features, including Campaign 2012 updates, CPF endorsements and special offers. You can register for the Member Only feature by CLICKING HERE or by going to the “Cam-

The Fire Service at Your Fingertips.
paign 2012” button on the CPF Mobile App. If you have already registered as a CPF member, CLICK HERE to log in. Attention early adopters: If you registered as a CPF member prior to September 25, you will need to re-register. We apologize for the inconvenience.

LAFD and UFLAC - Think Pink Press Conference members that worked tirelessly union political activity. at a fiscally reasonable price. on this effort. It rejuvenated many LDF Safety members I saw in the firehouses We are looking into the Continue to try your best to be and walking the hallways at city opportunity for members to join safe, even though we continue hall. some type of ‘Legal Defense to be tremendously understaffed PROP 32 – GOTV Fund’ (LDF) in the near future. (Hardclosure Plan) in the field This is the last push to ‘Get I wrote an article about the LDF and in the Fire Prevention Bureau. Out To Vote’. Hopefully you have earlier this year in one of my We are doing more with less, already received and mailed in past articles. It will provide you which creates a more stressful your absentee ballot. If you do with an opportunity for much work environment. Worst of all, not vote by absentee, then make better protection in the legal our Department (under its current sure you hit the polling location arena, and specific professional deployment model) is designed to and vote. representation for all arenas operate inefficiently. Remember We have flooded you with (Paramedic/EMT licensure issues, to take care of yourself through information for ‘NO on PROP 32’ Boards of Rights, Attorneys our wellness program; exercising via bulletins, work location visits, involved when necessary). The and eating right. Relieve your phone banking, etc. We have all cost will be minimal, but the stress, and use our Employee paid out over $110 dollars each insurance protection will be top Assistance Program (EAP) if (per capita) to fight this unfair notch. I currently am chairing a necessary. Stay safe out there, and and deceptive proposition. PROP UFLAC Committee where work remember the 5 F’s; your Faith, 32 will have a negative impact on is currently underway to find the Family, Friends, Fun, and Fire your financial future, and it will perfect defense package for you, Department. have a negative impact on your with a program similar to the ability to provide an education for Police Protective Leagues (PPL), your children. Moreover, many of the things we currently enjoy such as collective bargaining, cancer presumptive law, DROP/Pension, OSHA safety protections, among others will fall like dominoes if it passes! Please vote NO on 32 and spread the word! The proponents of PROP 32 are deceptive people that seek to have the Corporations monopolize the economy, thereby dissolving the working middle class, restricting our scope of collective bargaining, limiting the prevailing wage requirements, and preventing and restricting 9/11 Memorial with Jim Featherstone (Former UFLAC Director)

Get Support If you need help getting started, or are having trouble logging in, check out our Support Page. You’ll find answers to basic questions and links to get in touch if you need more help.

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

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LAFD Goes Pink
The Los Angeles Fire Department and United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) Local 112 joined forces to promote and support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and went Pink to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Los Angeles Firefighters proudly wore distinctive pink t-shirts while on-duty to raise public awareness of this devastating disease, and to support those personally effected. We were able to reach thousands of people with the lifesaving message that cancer prevention and early detection can mean the difference between life and death. This was the first year that LAFD members have been authorized to wear Pink T-Shirts on duty and was a huge success for LAFD and UFLAC. All net proceeds from the sale of the Pink T-Shirts is going to the American Cancer Society. You can still order your own Pink T-Shirt at This project could not have been done without the assistance from our sponsors, UFLAC Executive Board, and LAFD Administration. To view more pictures or to post your own Pink T-Shirt pictures go to:

LAFD Goes PInk

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Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

LAFD Goes Above & Beyond At Station Visit
By Chuong Ho, Director
Although I have no opponent in this upcoming election and therefore, will step into the position of 2nd Vice-President by acclamation, I still, nonetheless, want to take this opportunity to thank the membership for their support these past 4 years as I served as one of your directors. It has been an interesting 4 years with some “ups” and “downs” and a lot of “lessons learned”…. The experiences were invaluable and now I want to use those experiences to better serve you as your new 2nd Vice-President. I am truly excited and humbled at this opportunity, to once again, be of service. Thank you! Community Outreach As most of us know, politics is a big part of what we, as a labor organization, do… And to be successful in politics, we have to have the power to persuade voters! Now I’m not going to get into a lecture on political science here, but I will say that if the public supports us, then we are well on our way to success. As firefighters, we have many opportunities to garner public support. For example, we go on approximately 1,500 calls a day and each call is an opportunity for us to garner public support (by merely being on our best behavior). Additionally, many fire stations often get people walking-in for a little tour (usually for their kids). These fire station visits are just more opportunities for us to impress the public. Typically, we put our youngest firefighters on these station visits and for the most part, they do a pretty good job, but here’s a story about a station that went above and beyond the call of duty during one of these visits…. As you can see from the accompanying photos, the young 3-year old had the red carpet rolled out for him as he got to take a picture on the Captain II’s lap; as he got to take another picture with multiple members of the crew (not just with the junior member); and where he even got to experience the drill room chairs. This young boy will probably have these pictures stored away somewhere for the long haul and so he’ll have something to remember this experience by, especially when he becomes a voter! Furthermore, his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles may also all become staunch supporters! (Actually, I know his mom and dad are already big supporters). Every member of our local needs to do their part…. E-mail me at [email protected] and share with us how you and/or your crew are doing their part for “the cause”.

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department were part of history in October as Los Angeles welcomed the Space Shuttle Endeavour to its new home in Los Angeles. LAFD Members were standing by as the Endeavour flew over many Los Angeles Landmarks and finally landed at LAX Airport. A convoy of LAFD apparatus escorted the Endeavor off the runway to a United Hangar to be prepared for the 12-mile journey to it’s final resting place at the California Science Center. The California Science Center Foundation and various State and City agencies - including the Los Angeles Fire Department, worked together for months to plan for the safe movement of Endeavour.

LAFD Welcomes Space Shuttle Endeavour
At 122 feet long, 78 feet wide and 5 stories tall at the tail, Endeavour was one of the largest objects ever transported over city streets in Los Angeles. The public is encouraged to visit Endeavour after it opens for permanent public exhibit at the California Science Center beginning October 30, 2012. Although the Endeavour exhibit is free of charge, it is recommended that visitors reserve a timed ticket online for $3, or $2 for Science Center members. To learn more about Endeavour’s new home, please visit:

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

Page 7

By Tony Gamboa, Director
IAFF FALLEN FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL COLORADO SPRINGS Of the 155 names engraved on the granite wall in Colorado Springs this year, 4 were Local 112 brothers. •Keith D. Kroll 12/9/79 •Ralph D. Urquiza 9/20/09 •Eric D. Shepherd 7/18/11 •Glenn V. Smith 9/26/11 The widows and families were represented and supported by UFLAC, L-112 Color Guard, Fire Hogs and the Relief Association, This year I was humbled to be asked to escort both Janice LeDoux widow of Keith Kroll and granddaughter Christine Sprague. Keith was only 44 and an active member at the time of his death, he lost his life to duty connected lung cancer. Keith was the first member of the LAFD to have his cancer ruled duty connected. The ruling took place years before the cancer presumption law was passed by the State of California. Once again our Color Guard came through and made us all proud. Their dedication during long practices in the sun showed in their performance during the

Taking Care of Our Own
ceremony. The fallen brothers and their families will never be forgotten. NFPA 1710 COMMITTEE MEETING At our last meeting we worked on our final draft. Our focus was on Strip Mall and Small Apt Buildings, The Committee identified required tasks and number of personnel needed to fight fires in each occupancy and the importance to have an ALS resource dispatched as well. Equivalency Language – The Committee had lengthy discussions in regards to “equivalency” as used within the standard and recommend modifications or additions to clarify the term. Members on the committee are a blend of union officials, Fire Chiefs, League of Cities, management, and attorneys. The debates that go in in the room are “we have an entire community that is fully sprinkled”, why do we need so many firefighters on the apparatus? That’s why we are in the room to explain the importance of proper staffing levels and to give real life testimonials to support what we are saying! Body Composition, Annual Laboratory Analyses, Vision Evaluation, Hearing Evaluation, Pulmonary Evaluation, Aerobic/ Cardiovascular Evaluation, Cancer Screening, Immunizations, Infectious Disease Screening, Referrals to Health Care Practitioners, Written Feedback, Data Collection and Reporting. 33rd ANNUAL LABOR DAY PARADE AND BBQ This past Labor Day event that took place in Wilmington was a success. Several of your Executive Board members, Stewards and family came out to support the labor coalition. This year’s event was attended well by so many and the theme was twofold, Labor Day celebration and the “NO” on proposition 32 campaign. No on 32 shirts, hats and buttons were everywhere and the talk in the park was for everyone to get out to vote and vote NO on prop 32! In the days ahead we will be reaching out to you with ways you can help us stop this latest attack on working people. Please contact the Union office for more information on ways you can volunteer. Our Local 112 MOAB was at the center stage with our friends of labor at the local, state and federal level of government. We had a great time helping out with the BBQ and serving the thousands that showed up for the event. It was such a proud moment to see this year our LAFD Color Guard marching in the parade with Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard. The teachers, grocery workers, Teamsters, Longshoremen, and so many others appreciated the Firefighters in joining them in solidarity for that special day. MAYDAY UPDATE Presently, the Mayday language has been submitted to the administration on how the two tier system will work. Right now it is being reviewed by Fire Scope and we are waiting for the changes and input from their review, until then we will continue to push for this Long Overdue procedure. Here is an example of how it works: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”, will be STRICTLY used for one reason and one reason only, for a Firefighter that is Missing/ Down/Trapped. No other reason. Another benefit for the program is that I/C doesn’t have to go on the radio and clear the channel if a Mayday occurs. Our members will be trained if a “Mayday” occurs automatically stay off the radio. This term automatically clears the channel. “Emergency Traffic”, this term will be used for all other urgent messages, such as: “We have wires down charging the fence line”, “the roof is sagging on the Bravo, Charlie side”, etc…. We continue to fight the good fight when it comes to the safety of our members. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments contact me Tony Gamboa 213-507-6439 or Capt. Andy Ruiz at FS 33 “C” Platoon 213-485-6233.

Dr. Don Stewart HEALTH AND SAFETY While at the NFPA 1710 Committee in DC and our session ended early Rich Duffy from the IAFF arraigned a personal tour of the Fairfax County medical facility. The facility and staff is a direct product of the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative. Doctor Donald Stewart and staff were very helpful, they shared with me the level of care they can do at their medical facility. The wellness-fitness program that they adopted was a collaborative effort between labor and management and is educational and rehabilitative and not punitive in nature. Some of the examinations that are performed are: Physical exams,

Janice LeDoux - Widow of Keith Kroll & Christine Sprague

The IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Foundation was founded in 1976 to recognize and honor past and future professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who are killed in the line of duty and to provide funds and assistance to the surviving spouses and children of those members. In 1986, the IAFF completed a permanent tribute to its members, the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The centerpiece of the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial is a bronze likeness of a fire fighter descending a ladder while cradling an infant in one arm. Towering 20 feet above the park’s surface, “Somewhere, Everyday” epitomizes the courage and bravery displayed daily by professional fire fighters across the continent. In 1989, the IAFF

erected the first of two granite walls to bear the names of fallen IAFF members. The names of brothers and sisters killed in the line of duty have been etched here since. Although thousands have died throughout our union’s history, the names on this wall date back only through 1976, when the U.S. federal government first began tracking line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. Additional upgrades over the final years of the 20th century transformed this tribute to our fallen family members into a memorial of international stature. Paving stone, monument lighting, flag standards and walkways now beautify this hallowed place, creating an atmosphere of dignity and reverence for all who visit. As the original wall has filled to near capacity with names of fallen heroes, a second wall was

IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial
erected just a few steps from the original wall of honor. In a ceremony fraught with irony, this new memorial wall was dedicated on September 15, 2001, four days after terrorist attacks claimed 347 of our New York City brothers. The IAFF has plans to add to the memorial sites all the names of IAFF professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who have died since the founding of the IAFF in 1918. Each September, the IAFF conducts a solemn ceremonial service at the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial and Wall of Honor to honor the sacrifice made by professional fire fighters and paramedics who have given their lives in the line of duty during the previous year. Christine Sprague at IAFF Memorial

Page 8

By Nancy Mraz, EAP

On September 10th & 11th we held our first Elder Care Workshop. Our first presenter, Janet Morris, Esq. from Bet Tzedek Legal Services covered legal preparation for the future from the perspective of senior care. However she also had a

wealth of information on legal preparations in the event of emergencies that we all need to be aware of. The Alzheimer’s Association provided two presentations. The first talk was on the disease of Alzheimer’s, what’s happening in the brain. They also had a great deal of information on other forms of dementia and memory loss, how they relate to Alzheimer’s and how they present different circumstances. The second presentation covered practical information on how do you take care of someone who is losing the ability to care for themselves and can’t help you to care for them. We also had a presentation by Sharon Miller, M.Ed., CEAP, LDAC on the 10 most important issues and needs that we need

Elder Care Workshop
to be aware of in caring for an aging family member or friend. This covered issues on Finances, Legal, Medical, Family Support, Community Caregiving Resources etc…. We were given examples of resources, and why each of the areas may be helpful to our seniors and the extended family. Our final presenter was Judith Ramirez, Special Investigator, with the L.A. County Department of Consumer Affairs. Ms Ramirez brought a great deal of information on scams that target seniors, and also information on the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and the wide scope of services they have to protect consumers of all ages from fraudulent practices. We are looking at the possibility of holding another Elder Care Workshop in 2013. If you are


Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

interested in attending and were unable to attend this workshop, please give us a call in the EAP (800)252-8352, and let us know of your interest. If there are issues you’d like more information about, and aren’t covered by the

above presentations, we’d like to know this also. In planning services to meet the needs of our members we’re always interested in knowing what issues you and your families are dealing with so we can plan accordingly.

LAFD Receives Prestigious Pro-Patria Award
America’s workforce and prove every employer can go above and beyond for our Citizen Warriors.” And the DoD ESGR website reported in their press release the following - “Only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award since it was established in 1996. Employers named as finalists for the award distinguish themselves not only for adhering to the employment and reemployment rights of Guard and Reserve members, but for actively creating opportunities to assist and support the service of both Guard and Reserve employees and their families. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), nominated by an employee serving in the Navy Reserve, has a proud history of extraordinary military support dating back to World War II. Today, the LAFD continues to provide exceptional assistance by preparing Guard and Reserve members with additional training in trauma assessment, patient treatment and patient care before deployments. The department also established a Military Liaison Officer position to work directly with Guard and Reserve employees and oversee supportive initiatives during their deployments.” On August 31, 2012, the California ESGR committee ensured recognition by presenting the Department with the prestigious state level “Pro Patria” award during a luncheon held at the former Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center that now serves as the Fire Department’s Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center. Los Angeles City Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Dennis Zine, along with many City Administration Leaders, joined Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Cummings in the presentation along with several Department of Defense representatives, local National Guard and Reserve Military leadership, LAPD, LACoFD, and CHP representatives. The Pro Patria Award is presented annually by each Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve Committee to the one employer in their state or territory who has provided the most


By David Danielson FF/PM-FS 88-C
The LAFD has a long and extraordinary history of supporting our members serving in our nation’s military, both on active duty and within our National Guard and Reserves. This year marks the 11th year that our members have responded to our nation’s Call to Service since 9/11. On May 22, 2012, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced Los Angeles Fire Department as a finalist for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. A review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selected 30 finalists from the 3,236 nominations received earlier this year from Guard and Reserve service members, or family members acting on their behalf. On July 19, 2012, the DoD announced the final 15 recipients. LAFD truly had some solid competition, but unfortunately was not this year’s recipient of the National level award. The fact that LAFD made it so far in the competition shows great merit. ESGR National Chair James G Rebholz had this to say about LAFD - “The 2012 Freedom Award finalists demonstrate that outstanding support of Guard and Reserve members is not limited by an employer’s size, industry or region of the nation. These 30 finalists span the diversity of

Fire Station 88 Supporting David Danielson

exceptional support of our national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. More than 25 LAFD members both sworn and civilian also received awards, such as the Seven Seals Award, the Above and Beyond Award, and the Patriot Award at the well-attended ceremony. Through the active support of our members who serve in two uniforms, and by encouraging the continued employment of Veter-

an, Guard and Reservists, LAFD capitalizes on the skills and experience that we, as a nation, have greatly invested. Together we serve by honoring the sacrifices of those who serve to protect our freedom. Nominations for the 2013 ESGR Secretary of Defense Freedom Award open in November. If you want to know more, please visit Note from Dave Wagner: Currently, LAFD’s own FF/ PM Scott Carter is serving in Afghanistan. He is providing CMO

(civil military operations) support to conventional and special operations forces, and advising and assisting Afghans with building and improving civil infrastructure, foreign internal defense, and local governance. Yeah, it’s a mouth full! We salute you Scott and look forward to you coming home next year. If you want to write to Scott, please send letters to: SGT CARTER S. A/426 Civil Affairs BN (ABN) Kandahar Air Field, KAF APO AE 09355

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

Page 9

LAFD Firefighter Memorial
Today is the day we remember those Los Angeles Firefighters who gave their lives so that others might live. On occasion, someone will ask why we do this? After all, these aren’t soldiers fighting to protect freedom. These are firefighters - we see them nearly every day. So, why do we need a day to remember them? Your Los Angeles Fire Department is more than 125 years old now. And during that period of time, the Department has saved the lives of thousands of people in and around Los Angeles. Often, the people saved have suffered a stroke, been hit by a bus, or have collapsed due to a heart attack. In Los Angeles, with more than 1,000 emergency responses per day, and more than 500 transports to local hospitals in an average 24-hour period, you might think the process of saving lives is routine. It may seem that way, but it isn’t. For people watching the freeway rescue taking place on March 23, 1998, it seemed that Fire 3, the air ambulance that picked up a young patient was just doing what it normally did. Minutes later, the helicopter crashed, within minutes of its destination. The

2012 LAFD Fallen Firefighter Memorial
young patient, along with LAFD members Michael McComb, Eric Reiner, and Michael Butler were killed. Not an ordinary day. When the Naval Reserve Training Center’s attic was discovered to be fully involved with fire on September 27, 1980, the fire attack initiated by the LAFD seemed to be managed with the military precision that the Department is known for. When firefighter Frank Hotchkin stepped onto the roof to provide support, it collapsed, sending young Hotchkin to his death. Not an ordinary day. The stories continue - and there are nearly 200 of them. Each one is personal. Each one involves a parent, a sibling, a friend, and coworkers. On February 18, 2011, firefighters responded to a structure fire in the Hollywood Hills. After a few minutes, the living area of the home appeared to be clear of smoke, and the size up suggested a stubborn fire might be in one of the walls. Without warning, the ceiling collapsed, burying firefighters in the rubble, and mortally wounding Glen Allen. To many watching, it was just another routine fire on an ordinary day. It was not an ordinary

day for the LAFD. Every October, the LAFD gathers in Hollywood, at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial outside of the LAFD Museum. Fire officials speak. Historians remember. Taps are played. Bells are rung and names are read. And we remember. We remember that every day is a special day for the people who live in Los Angeles. The weather is nearly always perfect. The ocean is close by. The clubs are filled with party-goers. The film industry cranks out blockbusters. And the LAFD responds - every day, 24/7/365. And every one of its 3,400+ members wears a badge that reads “LAFD.” That

badge represents a commitment - a commitment to give up their life at any time to protect lives and property. That’s why we remember. The Museum and Memorial

Plaza are open every weekend from 10A to 4P in Hollywood. Please visit and discover the remarkable history of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Above Photos by Adam VanGerpen, Editor

Above Photos By Rick McClure, EPN

Page 10

Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

It took 125 Los Angeles Firefighters nearly two hours to fully extinguish a major emergency blaze in a three-story office building near Echo Park on October 9, 2012. One firefighter sustained minor burns to his neck during the relentless battle to quell the flames. We were fortunate that we had

LAFD Battles Major Emergency Blaze Near Echo Park
a team of volunteer photographers from EPN - Emergency Photographers Network on scene within minutes to capture these amazing photographs. EPN Members will identify themselves on-scene and will generally be wearing a brush jacket with civilian cloths. We are very grateful to these dedicated volunteers and depend on them for the pictures in this publication. Most of the photographers have their own websites where you can view the pictures. Many of their pictures are also uploaded to the LAFD Flickr Account. To view the LAFD Flickr account go to:

LAFD in Action

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Rick McClure, EPN

Photo By Juan Guerra, EPN

Photos By Juan Guerra, EPN

Photo By Bernie Deyo, EPN

Photo By Juan Guerra, EPN

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

Page 11

LAFD Battles Major Emergency Blaze Near Echo Park

LAFD in Action

Photo By Juan Guerra, EPN

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Rick McClure, EPN

Photo By Shawn Kaye, EPN

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Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

9/11 Rememberance
In many ways, it is hard to believe that eleven years have passed since our nation was savagely attacked on September 11, 2001. While time moves forward, it no way lessens the resolve of firefighters who now as then loudly pledge: We Shall Never Forget! The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department gathered for a trio of Patriot Day public events on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at three separate locations. By Brian Humphrey, Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Dept

LAFD Will Never Forget 9/11

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

Photo By Mike Meadows, EPN

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

Page 13

The Legislature has adjourned for 2011/2012 session and September 30, 2012 marked the bill signing deadline for the Governor to take action on measures that were passed by Legislature. Among the measures signed and vetoed by the Governor were many sponsored and supported by the CPF. Here is a wrap-up of a handful of bills of interest to CPF affiliates. CPF Sponsored & Co-Sponsored Bills Approved by the Legislature in 2012 AB 1606 (Henry Perea, DFresno) - Clarifies that regardless of the manner in which the employer and employee organization reached impasse (with our without entering mediation), the employee organization retains the ability to request that the matter be submitted to a factfinding procedure, prior to any imposition of employment terms. STATUS: Approved by the legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown. AB 1687 (Paul Fong, DMountain View) - Communications about a delay, modification or overall denial of Worker’s Comp treatment would be required to include prominentlydisplayed alternatives for the injured worker’s next steps. In addition, if a related medical treatment dispute arises, and enforcement of a future medical award is required for continuing an injured worker’s medical treatment, this bill allows the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to award reasonably-incurred attorney’s fees in instances where an injured worker prevails in validating the medical award. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature: VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here) AB 1885 (Susan Bonilla, DMartinez) - This bill ensures that if a firefighter is laid off by a public agency, like a CalPERS contracting agency, due to cuts in budget or staffing and then is re-hired within one year by a ’37 Act county, the county retirement system will have the additional time needed to ensure that the rehired firefighter’s previous public employment service is in fact kept whole in that county system for purposes of a coordination of benefits. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here) AB 2298 (Jose Solorio, DSanta Ana) - With the pressures of daily details on the rise, this bill ensures that any member of the CHP, firefighters or peace officers cannot be held financially responsible in the event that they are involved in an accident with their private vehicle when operated on behalf of or at the request of their respective employer. Note new bill number/author. Previous bill number was AB 1551 (Torres). The author opted to use the bill for another issue. Assembly Member Solorio agreed to author a bill in the final week of session to move this policy forward to the Governor. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown. AB 2389 (Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) - This measure would give consumers a clearer picture of the relationship between the worker who shows up at the front door and the company that sent them there. The bill would require that work uniforms or badges clearly identify the actual employer. California’s fire service understands the importance of living up to its image and reputation. All service providers who seek to convey an image through the use of a uniform or logo must have some accountability to that image. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here) AB 2451 (John Perez, D-Los Angeles) - If a firefighter sustains a specified industrial illness, such as cancer or an infectious blood-

CPF 2012 Legislative Wrap-Up
borne disease that takes more than five years from the date of the injury to become fatal, this bill ensures that a Workers’ Compensation death benefits claim can be filed by eligible surviving family members within 480 weeks of the firefighter’s date of injury. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here) SB 488 (Lou Correa, DSanta Ana) – Presents strict approval and disclosure requirements for individuals or groups (slate mailer or mass mailing organizations) when identifying themselves as public safety organizations (firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, etc.) or utilizing a public safety logo, insignia or emblem in campaign mailers. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

Other Bills of Interest:
CPF Support SB 863 (Kevin De Leon, DLos Angeles) – Workers’ Compensation Reform Package. Reduces frictional costs in the system, speeds up medical care for injured workers, and increases Permanent Disability indemnity benefits to injured workers. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown. SB 1234 (Kevin De Leon, DLos Angeles) - This bill would enact the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act and in doing so, create a retirement savings program for California workers, which is funded by program participants and does not result in the state incurring liabilities. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown. AB 1944 (Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles) - Applies the current system of EMT-I and EMT-II discipline to EMT-P’s. This bill provides the same protections against double jeopardy while ensuring efficient administration of discipline subject to the due process requirements provided for by the FFBOR, APA and locally negotiated disciplinary procedures. STATUS: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee. SB 900/AB 278 (Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Holly Mitchell, Speaker John A. Perez, Mark Leno, Noreen Evans, Mark De-

Photo By David “Doc” DeMulle, Foothills Paper Saulnier, Fran Pavley, President under the federal social secuPro Tem Darrell Steinberg) – rity system to all employees who Homeowner Bill of Rights. This are not covered under a defined package, among other things, benefit plan, except as specified. would serve to improve the fore- STATUS: Approved by the Legclosure process by adding sen- islature; SIGNED by Governor sible reforms to California Law. Brown. It would require loan servicers to AB 2224/ACA 22 (Cameron give struggling homeowners who Smyth, R- Santa Clarita) – apply for a loan modification a Makes the statutory and constiyes or no answer before starting tutional changes necessary to imthe formal foreclosure process, plement the Governor’s 12 Point require that the party moving to Pension Reform Plan. STATUS: foreclosure have evidence to sup- Held in committee. port that it has the right to foreSB 1176/SCA 18 (Bob Huff, close on the property and add R- Diamond Bar) – Would, more transparency to the foreclo- among other things, prohibit a sure process. STATUS: Approved public retirement system from alby the Legislature; SIGNED by lowing the purchase of additional Governor Brown. retirement service credit and SB 1241 (Christine Kehoe, provide that any enhancement to D- San Diego) – Would revise a public retirement system’s rerequirements associated with the tirement formula or benefits that comprehensive, long-term gen- is adopted on or after January 1, eral plan, which is adopted by a 2013, would apply only to serlocal legislative body to include vice performed on or after the opprovisions for reviewing and up- erative date of the enhancement. dating the plan’s safety element STATUS: Failed policy committo address the risk of fire for land tee deadline. within the entity’s purview that is SB 1336 (Leland Yee, D- San classified as a state responsibility Francisco) - This bill would rearea or high fire hazard severity quire auditors to release any zone. STATUS: Approved by the findings resulting from an invesLegislature; SIGNED by Gover- tigative audit and release infornor Brown. mation, including the identity of the accused, regarding any action taken by any agency or authority CPF Oppose to which the results of the invesAB 340 (Warren Furutani, tigation have been reported. STAD- Long Beach) Pension Re- TUS: Failed passage in Appropriform Package. This bill makes ations Committee major revisions to the public Other pension related measures retirement systems’ laws. STA- that were introduced but did not TUS: Approved by the Legis- pass the Legislature. Most of these lature; SIGNED by Governor measures were introduced to imBrown. plement the Governor’s original AB 1248 (Ben Hueso, D- Ch- 12 point pension plan. ula Vista) - Requires that the City of San Diego provide coverage

Page 14

Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

By Robert J. Sherwin, Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin, and Lee Hall of fame baseball player, Yogi Berra coined that expression but it rings true today as Governor Brown recently signed into law new workers’ compensation “reform” legislation. Flashback to 2004 when Governor Schwarnegger demanded the legislature pass a workers’ compensation reform bill that had been brokered behind closed doors with no public hearings. The legislation drastically reduced benefits for injured workers while insurance companies reaped billions of dollars in profits. Injured workers suffered a 60% reduction in permanent disability compensation in addition to having medical treatment severely curtailed through a process known as “utilization review (UR). Since 2004, medical costs have increased. In order to reduce those costs and yet try to restore some of the benefits injured workers lost, the legislature crafted a bill that allegedly would do both. But as with the last reform, the new legislation was enacted in the final days of the legislative session with minimal public hearings and a directive from the Governor to get the bill passed. So as Yogi said. It’s déjà vu all over again as the legislature passed the bill on the last day with literally hours left in the session. The new law does many things, some of which will benefit you as

firefighters if you are injured on the job. Yet much of the bill will work to your detriment. Part of the law will only apply to injuries that occur after January 1, 2013 while other portions will apply retroactively regardless of the date you were injured. So what are the significant parts of the legislation that will affect your rights when you get injured on the job?

It’a Deja Vu All Over Again
sion of Workers’ Compensation and then decides if the treatment should be approved or denied. If denied, the firefighter can object and have the issue of medical necessity addressed by a neutral doctor (either an agreed medical examiner or qualified medical examiner) who actually examines you and then renders an opinion. Even if the neutral doctor decides against you, you have the right to appeal to a judge at the workers’ compensation appeals board who can listen to your testimony and review the entire record. We in the legal business call that “due process”. The new law removes any “medical necessity” issue from an AME or QME and requires it to go through either a second UR appeal (with the same UR doctor) or to a new process called Independent Medical Review (IMR). The State through it’s Division of Workers’ Compensation will contract with various IMR companies and then randomly select a company to perform the IMR on the medical issue in question (i.e.: need for surgery; physical therapy; medication, etc.). The IMR company and/or the doctor for the company need not be licensed in California, which means a doctor in Florida could review and decide your treatment needs. The IMR doctor will review the reports of your treating doctor and the reports of the UR doctor who initially denied your treatment. The IMR may review any other documents you feel are relevant to an appropriate decision.


First…the good news – Permanent disability compensation will increase for injuries occurring after January 1, 2013. Permanent disability is not payment for pain and suffering but rather final compensation you may receive for whatever permanent effects you are left with from the injury. You may be working full unrestricted duty as a firefighter but nevertheless have residual permanent disability. For those injuries occurring after January 1, 2013, the amount of final compensation will be increased from the amount you would have received for an earlier date of injury. This change is the so-called legislature’s attempt to remedy the injustice created by the 2004 bill. The bad news – Medical treatment will become more restricted than it already is. Present law allows the employer to submit all medical treatment recommended by your treating doctor to a “UR” company where a doctor reviews the treatment request against treatment guidelines adopted by the Divi-

The IMR doctor will not examine you and you will never know the name of the IMR doctor. Once the IMR decision is made, it is essentially final. You may only appeal an IMR decision to the workers’ compensation appeals board if you believe it was based on fraud, bias, etc. A difference in judgment or opinion from your treating doctor is insufficient grounds for appeal. In other words, you will have limited, if any access, to a judge for review. We in the legal business call that a denial of due process. There are many other provisions in the new law that will affect you if you are injured on the job and those will be discussed in future articles as we dissect the new law and litigate those issues at the workers’ compensation appeals board. For now, what you should take from all this is the need to discuss your injury with a competent attorney who understands your

rights as a firefighter and the rules your employer plays by. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that you have someone fighting for you to insure that whatever information that is submitted to either UR or IMR is correct and complete. Getting proper treatment will affect your ability to keep working and provide for your family. Far too often I see firefighters think they can go it alone through the workers’ compensation arena. They select a QME from a panel of QMEs issued by the State and frequently select the wrong doctor who issues a report detrimental to their interests. With so much on the line, why would you try to navigate solo through a system so complex and lacking in due process rights? Hopefully you will enjoy a safe and injury free career. If, however, you find yourself going through this crazy process, make sure you do it intelligently.

CPF 2012 Endorsement List General Election
UFLAC and California Professional Firefighters (CPF) join with the entire body of organized labor in California to STRONGLY urge a resounding NO vote on Proposition 32, the corporate fat cats’ and super-PACs’ “Special Exemptions Act”, in next month’s November 6th General Election. Designed only to silence the voices of ordinary working Californians while rewarding and protecting anonymous corporate fat cats and millionaires, this proposition has been characterized by even such normally labor-unfriendly organs as the Los Angeles Times as “deceptive” and dishonest. Please vote NO on Proposition 32 and urge your family and friends to do the same. Also, please see the list of CPF’s endorsed candidates for State Assembly and State Senate (below). Thank you. AD 06: No Recommendation AD 07: Roger Dickinson AD 08: Ken Cooley AD 09: Richard Pan AD 10: Michael Allen AD 11: Jim Frazier AD 12: Kristin Olsen AD 13: No Recommendation AD 14: Susan Bonilla AD 15: Nancy Skinner AD 16: No Recommendation AD 17: Tom Ammiano AD 18: Rob Bonta AD 19: Phil Ting AD 20: Bill Quirk AD 21: Adam Gray AD 22: Kevin Mullin AD 23: Bob Whalen AD 24: Rich Gordon AD 25: Bob Wieckowski AD 26: No Recommendation AD 27: Nora Campos AD 28: Paul Fong AD 29: Mark Stone AD 30: Luis Alejo AD 31: Henry Perea AD 32: Rudy Salas AD 33: No Recommendation AD 34: No Recommendation AD 35: Katcho Achadjian AD 36: Ron Smith AD 37: Das Williams AD 38: Scott Wilk AD 39: Richard Alarcon AD 40: No Recommendation AD 41: Chris Holden AD 42: Brian Nestande AD 43: Mike Gatto AD 44: Jeff Gorell AD 45: Bob Blumenfield AD 46: Adrin Nazarian AD 47: Joe Baca Jr. AD 48: Roger Hernandez AD 49: Ed Chau AD 50: Betsy Butler AD 51: Jimmy Gomez AD 52: No Endorsement AD 53: John Perez AD 54: Holly Mitchell AD 55: Curt Hagman AD 56: Manuel Perez AD 57: Ian Calderon AD 58: Cristina Garcia AD 59: Reggie Jones-Sawyer AD 60: No Recommendation AD 61: Bill Batey AD 62: Steven Bradford AD 63: Anthony Rendon AD 64: Isadore Hall AD 65: Sharon Quirk-Silva AD 66: Al Muratsuchi AD 67: Melissa Melendez AD 68: No Recommendation AD 69: Tom Daly AD 70: Bonnie Lowenthal AD 71: No Recommendation AD 72: Troy Edgar AD 73: No Recommendation AD 74: No Recommendation AD 75: Marie Waldron

LMWSL Goes Pink

AD 76: No Recommendation AD 77: No Recommendation AD 78: Toni Atkins AD 79: Shirley Weber AD 80: Ben Hueso SD 01: No Recommendation SD 03: Lois Wolk SD 05: Cathleen Galgiani SD 07: Mark DeSaulnier SD 09: Loni Hancock SD 11: Mark Leno SD 13: Jerry Hill SD 15: Neutral SD 17: Bill Monning

State Senate

SD 19: Hannah-Beth-Jackson SD 21: No Recommendation SD 23: No Recommendation SD 25: Carol Liu SD 27: Fran Pavley SD 29: Bob Huff SD 31: Richard Roth SD 33: Ricardo Lara SD 35: Rod Wright SD 37: No Recommendation SD 39: Marty Block

AD 01: Brian Dahle AD 02: Wes Chesbro AD 03: Dan Logue AD 04: Mariko Yamada AD 05: Frank Bigelow

State Assembly

November / December 2012

Los Angeles Firefighter

Page 15

2011-2012 UFLAC Executive Board
Pat McOsker, Engineer.................................. Fire Station 101-A Jeff Dapper, Captain I....................................Fire Station 95-B Frank Lima, Captain II ................................. UFLAC Office Brian Hishinuma, Captain II ........................ Fire Station 49-A Adam Knabe, Firefighter/Paramedic............Fire Station 87-A Freddy Escobar, Apparatus Operator.......... Fire Staion 26-C Mike Tobey, Captain/Paramedic .................. EMS 1-C Chuong Ho, Firefighter.................................. Fire Station 105-C Tony Gamboa, Apparatus Operator ............ UFLAC Office Ted Nonini, Firefighter/Staff Assistant......... Fire Station 27-C Mike McOsker, .............................................. UFLAC Office Nancy Mraz, CEAP........................................ UFLAC Office Adam VanGerpen, Firefighter / Paramedic..Fire Station 75-A

Services Directory
Department of Fire and Police Pensions 360 East Second Street, Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 978-4545 ACTIVE MEMBERS Applying for a Service Pension (213) 978-4575 Applying for a Disability Pension (213) 978-4500 Applying for DROP participation (213) 978-4568 Buying Back Time (Academy Time, Bad Time, Prior Service) (213) 978-4522 Contribution Statements (For Divorce, Loans, Verification of Contribution) (213) 978-4522 Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars (213) 978-4522 Refund of Contributions (213) 978-4522 Domestic Partner Information (213) 978-4522 RETIRED MEMBERS Name, Address & Telephone Number Changes (213) 978-4575

General Membership Meeting
(2nd Payday of Every Month) 9:00 a.m., November 28, 2012, Wednesday, “A” Shift Working 9:00 a.m., December 26, 2012, Wednesday, “C” Shift Working Location – James A. Perry Labor Center




1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 Refreshments and Free Parking Available

Station Stewards November / December 2012
001 001 002 004 005 007 008 009 010 011 015 018 021 027 033 034 035 037 037 037 038 039 042 043 044 044 047 047 049 056 058 059 061 062 064 066 066 068 069 069 072 075 075 076 077 079 080 083 084 085 085 085 085 087 090 092 096 096 098 101 102 103 103 104 105 108 109 111 112 114 CIU VFP VPP VIU A B A B A A C a C C A C A C A C C A C A C A C B A B C B C C C A C B A A C A A B C A C C B A C C A A A B C C C A A B B A C A A B B A B B C B S S S S Mark B. Stafford David Braun Michael Seiser Edward Larini Mario A. Garcia Nicholas Gonzales Mark Kleckner Felipe Villegas Kevin Willis Gregory C. Malais Cameron R. Kennedy L. Scott Gribbons Harold Raphael Ted Nonini Craig Poulson Joseph Smith Daniel Foote Jose Holguin Christopher Martinez Jose Holguin Richard Shortle John Cardenas Ruben Terrazas John Balich Charles Garcia David Raya Mark Rousseau Chris Stellern Stephen Meiche Oliver Fry Kris Larson Ryan Howes Martin Enriquez Alicia Mathis Christopher Bustamante John Marasco Anthony R. Temple Andrew Balandis Marc Samama Raymond Cuevas Henry Gasparri Adam M. VanGerpen Daniel Castillo Francisco “Frank” Hurtado M. Benjamin J. Rossell Scott Carter Brendan O’Connor Rigo Arellano Thomas G. Chamberlin Ed Campos Hector Hernandez John Maestri Charles Herrera Kenny Breskin Daniel Mattera Christopher Contreras Ryan Quigley James Krebs Dario Reyes Pat McOsker George James Robert Perez Shawn Connolly Glen A. Kratkin Keith Massey Paul Sasso Benjamin R. Guzman Harold Hix John Donato Jacob Ryan Jeff Rickey Scott Miller Russell K. Rawls David Riles


In Memory Of...

James A. Perry

Editor from 1969-2009

This emblem on the masthead of any labor publication certifies that the publication is a member in good standing of the International Labor Communications Association and is bound to observe the ILCA Code of Ethics. IAFF and AFL-CIO affiliates have prior approval to reprint or excerpt articles in the Los Angeles Firefighter — Please include credit line. Note: Photos and cartoons may not be reprinted without the expressed written permission of the photographer or artist.

Cost of Living (213) 978-4495 Direct Deposit (213) 978-4495 Tax Withholding (213) 978-4495 1099Rs (Year-End Tax Statements) (213) 978-4420 Health/Dental Subsidy (213) 978-4560 Health/Dental Plans: Fire Relief (Health Only) (800) 244-3439 UFLAC (800) 252-8352

(ISSN #0190-7573) Local 112, IAFF, AFL-CIO-CLC Official Publication of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City is Published Bi-Monthly Periodical Postage paid at Los Angeles, CA Known Office of Publication is United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, 1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90026-5798 POSTMASTER: Send Address Changes to The Los Angeles Firefighter 1571 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026-5798

The Los Angeles Firefighter

Union Office Phone Numbers
(213) 895-4006 - (213) 485-2091 - Toll Free (800) 252-8352 (213) 895-4990 Benefits: Administration:

If You See An Error…

EAP Office: (213) 895-0910 or (800) 252-8352 EAP FAX: (213) 481-1038 EAP 24 Hr. Help Line


FAX: (213) 250-5678

Answering Service: (213) 250-1212 Affiliations International Assn. of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO-CLC California Professional Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO American Federation of Labor International Labor Communications Association, AFL-CIO-CLC Contributing Photographers Mike Meadows, Juan Guerra, Adam VanGerpen, Shawn Kaye,Yvonne Griffin, Jeff Zimmerman, Reuben Chan, David DeMulle, Rick McClure, John Conkle, Ryan Babroff, Ryan Ling, Bernie Deyo, Gene Blevins, EPN

The Los Angeles Firefighter strives to maintain accuracy and fairness in all stories, graphics, photographs and other copy that appears in our union newspaper. It is our practice to correct errors in the issue immediately following their discovery. If you have a correction or clarification request, please call the UFLAC office at (800) 252-8352 or email Editor at [email protected]

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We are in the process of reorganizing and updating our Union Stewards Program. It is our goal to have a Union Steward at every work location. Current and prospective Stewards are requested to contact the James A. Perry Labor Center at (800) 252-8352.

Union Stewards Needed


This union newspaper is printed by a union printer on union-made recycled paper.

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Newspaper Mailing List

Page 16

Los Angeles Firefighter

November / December 2012

By Adam VanGerpen IAFF Media Awards The winners of the 2012 IAFF Media Awards were recently announced and LAFD received several awards. The LAFD Public Service Officers won an award for Best Blog Post fo the blog post titled “Hollywood Arson Fires.” Shawn Kaye who is a member of EPN and a contributing photographer to The Los Angeles Firefighter won a Photography award. The Los Angeles Firefighter publication won a second place award for Best IAFF Affiliate Publication (circulation more than 1000) It is a real honor to be selected for IAFF Media Awards. This year there was over 300 nominations and some very stiff competition. LAFD & Local 112 Think Pink We all know somebody who has been affected by cancer. In October LAFD and UFLAC went pink to raise awareness for breast

cancer. Our primary goal was to show our support for those personally effected by cancer and to reach thousands of people with the lifesaving message that caner prevention and early detection can mean the difference between life and death. Los Angeles Fire Department Administration teamed up with UFLAC and authorized six days of wearing the LAFD & UFLACThink Pink t-shirts as the outermost garment while on duty. This was the first time in the recent history when the uniform policy has been temporarily suspended for a cause. I am very grateful to the UFLAC Executive Board the LAFD Command Staff for working together and making this campaign a success. If you would still like to purchase a pink t-shirt they are available at: All net proceeds from the tshirt sales will go to the American Cancer Society.

LAFD Wins Multiple IAFF Media Awards
Cancer We supported breast cancer by wearing pink t-shirts but it’s not the only kind of cancer out there. As firefighters we are far greater risk of getting cancer. Things we can all to reduce of cancer include: 1. Take a shower after a fire. 2. Wash your turnouts after a fire. 3. Protect your airway during a fire and during overhaul. 4. Get regular check ups with your doctor. In November we will be raising awareness for prostate cancer with the Movember Campaign.

Firefighters across the country will be growing mustaches to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Pictured below is Fire Station 75 in Mission Hills showing our support for a four year old boy named Alex Shabman who recently found out he has cancer.

In Memory of LAFD Crew 3 Cadet Ryan Kirby
weeks ago while riding his motorcycle in Thousand Oaks. On Tues., Sept. 25 at about 3:40 p.m., Kirby was on his Husqvarna on the rural portion of southbound Westlake Boulevard, south of Potrero Road and north of Carlisle Canyon, when he crossed over into the opposing lane, colliding with a Mercedes Benz driven by 54-year-old Westlake Village resident Katherine Moulene, headed north on the winding road. Kirby died at the scene, police said. Although an investigation into the crash is ongoing, Sgt. Barbara Payton said there were no drugs or alcohol involved in the incident and it appears that no crime took place. “It’s a tragic accident,” Payton said. A member of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Kirby was a cadet with Los Angeles Fire Department’s Crew 3, a 115-person unit that assisted in extinguishing wildfires. The Conejo Valley High School graduate had aspirations of becoming a firefighter. Greg Holly, Crew 3’s superintendent, said Kirby had a strong willingness to learn and better himself. “He took in as much knowledge and instruction that we could provide,” Holly said. “He really seemed focused on a career in the fire service.” Committed to helping others, Ryan worked hard and wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty, Holly said. “Those are very strong attributes of somebody who wants to be a firefighter.” “He just wanted to take care of people,” his mother told the Acorn. “He had so many plans.” Despite the precarious nature of motorcycle riding, Debbie Kirby called her son, who had attended classes at Ventura College, “extremely responsible.” “Ryan was the kid who didn’t take risks. He was the one everyone would call at 3 in the morning for a ride home,” she said. In fact, at Ryan Kirby’s Sept. 30 funeral at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, which was attended by members of the Los Angeles and Ventura County fire departments, his friends toasted his play-it-safe lifestyle. “They said, ‘When we had our coolers of beer, he’d have his cooler of Dr Pepper,’” his mother said. In addition to being a responsible young man, the employee of Dunn-Edwards Paints in Thousand Oaks was a hard worker, Debbie Kirby said. “Ryan wasn’t the kind of individual who just did his job and went home. He took pride in work.” Frank Blaze, the assistant manager at Dunn-Edwards, said Ryan was an asset to the business. “Several of our regular customers would come and seek his help in doing color matching,” Blaze said. “He was a focused and dedicated young man.” Kirby was the youngest of six children. Debbie Kirby, who called her son a “jokester” with an infectious sense of humor, said the family is thankful for the amount of support they have received since his death. “He was our baby,” she said. “It’s a sad situation for everybody all around.” Mourning the loss of her son, the mother said the memory of him returning home from the Getty Fire will stay with her forever. “Even though he got home at 2:30 in the morning, he wanted to go back the next day,” she said. “The soot is still there, outside our door. I haven’t cleaned it up.” Reprinted with Permission Thousand Oaks Acorn

Ryan S. Kirby By Stephanie Sumell, Thousand Oaks Acorn Returning home from battling the 90-acre Getty Fire last month, Ryan Kirby was exhausted and covered in ash—but beaming at the same time. “He was so excited that he got to fight his first fire,” said his mother, Debbie Kirby. “It was just an amazing experience for him.” Sadly, the young man’s first fire fight was also his last. Ryan Kirby, 24, was killed two

We offer our deepest condolences to Brother Cobos whopassed away with his family around him and his brother and sister firefighters close by. John spent many years as a dedicated employee of The County of Los Angeles. John was hired by the County, August 1977. He spent four years as an employee of another department within LA County prior to joining the Fire Department in 1981. For the last 3 years John has protected the residents of La Habra from Fire Station 193 as a Firefighter/ Paramedic. Prior to that for ap-

In Memory of LACoFD Firefighter John James Cobos
proximately 22 years John served the citizens of Pico Rivera from Fire Station 40. John was a dedicated Firefighter/Paramedic who enjoyed protecting the Citizens of Los Angeles County and was a proud member of our department. John leaves behind 3 adult girls Christina, Jennifer and Danielle and his longtime companion Moria and her daughters Paige and Sydney. His family, friends and brothers and sisters of our department will forever miss John but he will never be forgotten.

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